Supporting projects to help address and prevent substance use-related harms in British Columbia


April 9, 2021

The Government of Canada continues to support communities across Canada as they work to respond to the overdose crisis and substance use-related harms. This includes nearly $16.5 million in funding for 11 projects being carried out in British Columbia. Funding is provided through Health Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program (through call for proposals processes launched in 2017 and 2019) and the Public Health Agency of Canada's Supporting Pathways to Care for People Who Use Drugs (through a call for proposals process launched in 2019).

Projects funded under the Substance Use and Addictions Program (Health Canada)

  • ANKORS HIV/AIDS Network, Outreach and Support Society (Nelson, BC)
    ANKORS Rise Up: Harm Reduction Education, Peer Leadership and Health Navigation

    The organisation is receiving $554,000 over 27 months to scale-up the response to the overdose crisis in rural and underserved communities in the East and West Kootenay region. The project provides harm reduction and overdose prevention education to reach hidden populations of people who use drugs and who can be reluctant to seek support due to the stigma that they feel. It is also training peer leaders to gain the required skills to help build capacity through a peer health navigation program designed to assist those most at risk of overdose.

  • BC Centre for Disease Control, Provincial Health Services Authority (Vancouver, BC)
    Chee Shoó-kǔm Tuḿ-tum Mamuk (New Healthy Heart Work)

    This recipient is receiving $1,788,105 over 60 months to implement a program in two Indigenous communities. By using a "train-the-trainer" model, this project will enable the sharing of knowledge, skills development and tools to support mental wellness and reduce substance use. Community members are leading the development of programs and resources based on current priorities, using intervention approaches that are mindful of Indigenous cultures.

  • City of Kelowna (Kelowna, BC)
    PEOPLE Peer Navigators and Capacity Building

    The City of Kelowna is receiving $691,000 over 36 months to train and mentor people with lived and living experience of substance use in becoming peer navigators. These peer navigators are also supporting social service organizations in the Central Okanagan. In addition, this project is developing a curriculum of peer-to-peer cultural teachings for Indigenous peoples.

  • DIVERSECity Community Resources Society (Surrey, BC)
    Building Resilience for Sustainable Recovery

    This organization is receiving $2,148,332 over 36 months to implement an intersectoral, community-based outreach initiative for people living with concurrent disorders. Substance use and mental health services are being offered by an integrated team of professionals from different sectors providing personalized care to people living with mental health and substance use disorders in Surrey.

  • Providence Health Care (Vancouver, BC)
    Building Capacity for Early Intervention: Increasing Access to Youth-Centered, Evidence-Based Substance Use and Addictions Services in BC and Ontario

    Providence Health Care is receiving $1,899,239 over 57 months to develop an evidence-based intervention designed to screen, treat, and provide long-term support for youth and young adults experiencing problematic substance use, particularly opioids, cannabis and alcohol. The project is helping to further understand and address the views of young people regarding substance use and their associated risks.

  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)
    Comprehensive Online Detection and Intervention Approach to Opioid and Alcohol Use in University Students

    The University is receiving $3,260,065 over 36 months to develop and implement a comprehensive approach to screen university students for substance use and mental health disorders, with a focus on opioid, alcohol and cannabis use. Online coaching interventions are being implemented to help to manage stress, anxiety, depression, relapse, and other risk factors to prevent problematic substance use.

  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)
    Monitoring Drug Impaired Driving in Canada

    The University is receiving $1,361,356 over 36 months to scale-up an existing drug-impaired driving monitoring program, which has garnered much success for nearly a decade. The project provides evidence-based information, including trends and demographic and regional patterns, on injuries associated with drug-impaired driving across Canada, to help inform the development of prevention, public education, and awareness initiatives.

  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)
    Preventing Overdose Deaths by Providing Buprenorphine/Naloxone to High Risk Emergency Department Patients

    The University is receiving $1,289,296 over 48 months to expand access, within hospital emergency departments, to Suboxone (an opioid agonist treatment) for people living with an opioid use disorder. The project is being piloted at four hospitals in British Columbia and Alberta. It also helps to connect patients to on-going care.

  • University of Victoria - Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (Victoria, BC)
    BC Communities Substance Use Observatory: Monitoring and Informing Public Responses to Drug Use

    The University is receiving $1,996,455 over 60 months to establish a provincial network to perform various monitoring and surveillance activities. This network includes people who use substances and their families, community service providers, regional health authorities, and provincial government representatives. It reports on timely and actionable evidence on substance use, related harms, costs, determinants of at-risk populations, and community-level responses.

Projects funded under Supporting Pathways to Care for People Who Use Drugs (Public Health Agency of Canada)

  • BC Centre for Disease Control, Provincial Health Services Authority (Vancouver, BC)
    Fostering Linkage to Sexually Transmitted and Blood Borne Infection Care in Provincial Corrections for People Who Use Drugs

    The recipient is receiving $614,503 over 24 months to create new pathways to care for people who use drugs that are currently in the correctional system. The project is developing new policies and guidelines relating to how testing for sexually transmitted and blood borne infections (STBBI) is conducted at provincial correction centres, with the goal of increasing uptake of testing among people who are incarcerated. People who use drugs are overrepresented in correctional institutions and there is a high prevalence of STBBIs among this population. STBBI testing represents an important entry point to care for people who use drugs, both in correctional facilities and in the community.

  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)
    Equipping Health Care to Tackle Stigma, Discrimination and Inequity

    The University of British Columbia is receiving $804,612 over 24 months to build the capacity of healthcare organizations to better respond to the needs of people who use drugs who often experience barriers to care and/or marginalization at the point of care. The project will review and enhance existing guidance, educational resources, and tools of EQUIP, an evidence-based and theoretically informed complex intervention. It aims to reduce health inequities at the point of care and better address stigma related to substance use and marginalizing experiences of people who use drugs.

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